Fortis Plastics closing Wilmington, Ohio, plant

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WILMINGTON, OHIO (Jan. 5, 3:40 p.m. ET) — Fortis Plastics LLC is closing another factory, as news reports said 122 people will lose their jobs when Fortis closes a former Kurz-Kasch thermoset molding plant in Wilmington.

New York private investment group Monomoy Capital Partners LP bought Kurz-Kasch in 2007. Wilmington will be the 10th Fortis plant closing in the last three years.

The company’s misfortunes are shaking up the used-machinery world, as auctioneers will sell more than 130 injection presses and 20 extruders in a series of auctions at four closed Fortis plants from Jan. 17 to Feb. 2.

The Wilmington News Journal, along with local television, reported the plant will close. Officials of Fortis and Monomoy could not be reached for comment.

In other news, reports said another shuttered Fortis plant, in Henderson, Ky., near Evansville, Ind., has a potential buyer. Fortis closed the factory in late 2010, a few months after its major customer, Whirlpool Corp., closed its appliance factory in Evansville.

Quoting a local economic development official at Northwest Kentucky Forward, the Evansville Courier & Press reported Jan. 4 that the building, which has been on the market for about a month, is under contract for a buyer, likely a manufacturing company.

Kwekel Cos., a Grand Rapids, Mich., commercial real estate firm, is listing the 132,000-square-foot factory for sale at $1.57 million.

Officials of Kwekel and Northwest Kentucky Forward did not return telephone calls for this story.

Fortis was formed in 2008 when Monomoy Capital Partners acquired and combined the custom molding divisions of Leggett & Platt Inc. and Atlantis Plastics Inc.

Fortis tied for 13th in the 2010 Plastics News North American injection molders rankings with estimated sales of $280 million.